Central Theological College, Setagaya, Tokyo, c. 1950.

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Bird's eye view of the Central Theological College, Tokyo.

Bird’s eye view of the Central Theological College, Tokyo, c. 1950.

“Established in 1908 from the amalgamation of three older Japanese Anglican seminaries, the formal opening of the Central Theological College occured in 1912. Prior to that, graduate level study and clergy training in the Anglican Church in Japan was divided between two schools in Tokyo and one in Osaka.

“The idea of a central theological college = to train all Japanese clergy at one locale – was first mooted by Bishop William Awdry at the turn of the 20th century. Initial funding for the college came from a grant approved at the Pan-Anglican Congress held in London in 1908. The first buildings of the college were located at Ikebukuro opposite the main campus of Rikkyo University.

“Students would spend three years in the college department of the university studying a broad liberal arts curriculum, and then three years focused on ministry training in the theological college. Initial staffing of the college was drawn from the ranks of the Episcopal, SPG (Anglican) and Church Mission Society missions, each contributing one overseas missionary and one experienced Japanese clergy.

“The college buildings and library at Ikebukuro were destroyed by Allied incendiary bombing in the closing months of the Pacific War in 1945. In 1953, the college relocated to its current suburban location at Yōga, Setagaya, where it presently resides.”


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